• Ryan Calleja Urry

“No, Don't Clean Food With Dettol”- Helpline Worker Shares Real Stories From COVID-19 Call Centre 😮




In this time of pandemic, many people are stressed. There's a lot of fear going around and all of a sudden everyone has become a clean-freak. People being cautious & safe is a good thing of course, but unfortunately some people have gone a little overboard...


The following are a collection of stories & tips from a local helpline worker, let's call her Emma for anonymity's sake, who's sharing her perspective in the hopes of better educating the general public on the do's & don'ts of Coronavirus.



COVID Convinced 🦠

Emma's first story is quite worrying. It's about a man who called in to the helpline convinced that he had Coronavirus, he just wouldn't take no for an answer. None of his symptoms matched the virus, but he kept on insisting...


After multiple people tried their best in reassuring the man that he did not have COVID, it turned out that his symptoms were instead indicative of heart problems, and he had called the helpline to get tested when he instead should have called for an ambulance.


Emma's Tip - "Pain in the left-hand side of your chest radiating to the arm that does not change on arm movement is a sign of a heart attack, call 112."





Fear & Priorities 🤔



1) - Quite a few ladies have called in utter panic about "how to get their roots done" since their stylist is closed, to which Emma must reply with a "if your priorities are there, then dye it at home, as this is a medical helpline"


2) - "Can I wash my vegetables with Dettol?" No you definitely should not do that ever, and yes that was actually a question someone asked. "At the most, you can use the sanitiser used for baby bottles" - Emma says.


3) - Emma also says that "loads of calls get made about fevers that don't actually exist, as people do not own thermometers to check." The helpline worker urges everyone to "Please buy yourself a thermometer- we get too many people saying that they have a fever without actually checking their temperature."



Sadly common sense isn't too common right now...


People are all over the place recently, a woman even called in to a news show asking if her computer virus could get her sick 😂





In reference to the general panic calls, Emma recommends that you call the "Hear to Help" helpline which is available to anyone experiencing anxiety or stress as a result of COVID-19.


They're open between 9 am and 7 pm, Monday through Saturday, on +356 9932 0977



It's 111 Not 112 🤨



This final story stresses the frequency in which people call her for an ambulance.


"I've gotten calls from people who were literally in the middle of having an asthma attack, grasping for air as they're begging us to get tested", she says.


Emma urges students to focus on getting treatment in these emergency situations, and not worrying about whether they have COVID-19 or not. Please call 112 not 111 🚨




Final Tips❗️


1) - Always make sure that you wash your hands when touching anything that was outside & do not touch your face or anyone else’s.


2) - Please do not call your GP begging them to have you tested, if you do not have symptoms, you will not get tested.

3) - Pain in the left-hand side of your chest radiating to the arm that does not change on arm movement is a sign of a heart attack, call 112.